Pampatar, Margarita Island, Venezuela
Posted by: Beth on Feb 13, 2011
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Lagunamar is an impressive resort of contemporary design set on spacious, landscaped grounds filled with pools and lagoons which offers great installation and extensive activities.
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"This was the worst hotel I've ever encountered"
John on Feb 1, 2009 >
20 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Feb, 2009
449 people found this review helpful
The wait at the airport was over two hours. The hotel check in was an hour and language barriers further slowed the process.
The rooms were clean and the beds were comfortable. However, we booked ocean views well in advance and received rooms on the opposite side. The hotel was unwilling to locate us without charging an additional fee. The air-conditioning had to be on at all times or else the floor got as wet as a swimming pool. As a result it was either very cold or too hot and moist in the rooms. The maid service ignored "Do Not Disturb" signs and came in as they pleased. They also attended to the rooms randomly, at all hours.
Restaurants and Bars
The overall service was quite good, and the bars poured strong drinks, although one had to put up with an overabundance of wasps that frequented every bar. The restaurants served vastly inferior food. It was tasteless, not fresh, soggy and lacked variety, despite their advertisements of daily "themes". This was the worst hotel food I've ever encountered, and these sentiments are shared by many. Also, children were allowed everywhere, so there was no place to go for adults to relax and enjoy peace and quiet.
The pools were abundant and generally clean, as was the grounds. The beach was average for these types of resorts. However it is a very substantial walk to the beach from either hotel - almost a mile - and the shuttle service provided was random, at best.
Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel
The one saving grace of the trip was the excursions that were away from the resort. On these the food was excellent, the service was outstanding, the prices were reasonable and everything offered was accommodated. However, these excursions are available from any of the island's resorts, so Laguna Del Mar cannot take credit. On the resort itself, the activites were the same everyday and catered to the children and families. The casino was closed and this was not indicated when the booking was made.
Myslef and many others will not return to this resort and are making a concerted effort to steer family and acquaintances away from this resort.
"Perfect Family Vacation"
Tracey & Mike on Jul 10, 2010 >
1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Jan, 2010 | Leisure | Family and Kids
471 people found this review helpful
We have travelled to many other Carribean resorts and this is the only place that we have returned to for a second visit. My husband and I, and our 5 year old boy visited in January 2010 and had a fabulous time. Although there have been some changes to the resort restaurants since our last visit in 2006, everything else has remained basically the same. We did not find the staff to be as friendly as before but having said that, the weather was perfect (90's every day with a slight breeze), the food was always fresh and hot, rooms clean, etc. There are so many areas to visit in the resort for families with small children ie: water park, wave pool, pool with water slides, the beach, that you could never get bored. I would certainly recommend this resort to families with children. You certainly cannot beat the price and amenities.
Slow going through the airport, but rooms were ready at the hotel on arrival.
Neat and clean. Spacious.
Restaurants and Bars:
Food fresh and hot
Various pools. All appeared to be clean and maintained. Beach has many umbrelas and loungers so never a problem finding a spot.
Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
We stayed on the resort this time and never gor bored as there were many different areas to visit.
Would love to go back for a third visit!
Beth on Feb 13, 2011 >
1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Jan, 2011 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
421 people found this review helpful
Second visit to Margarita Island, but not so nice as before. We weren't expecting a five-star holiday, but we were not pleased overall. The hotel is becoming run-down, parts of it falling down and in disrepair, the grounds not kept up, the rooms old and not very clean. We stayed in the South Tower, and cannot speak for the conditions in the North Tower. The beds here were good to sleep in and the maid was in faithfully every day to make them up and straighten up. However the shower was not great, the showerhead was clogged, and the taps were very touchy so you might be having a warm shower one second and a cold or hot one the next. Okay for adults that know how to fix it, but could scald a child. Our toilet did not flush properly, and the tap at the sink kept falling apart. The air conditioner worked fine, albeit a bit noisy. Also our window would not close all the way, and a loud generator outside the hotel made it impossible to rest during the day if you needed to be your room for any length of time. This generator ran every day throughout the day, as power to the hotel was often turned off, and energy conserving measure by the government we were told.
Wifi in the hotel, even in the rooms (and included with the price of the room)
The hotel had 4 floors and the stairwell was not to be used except in case of emergency, so the elevators were the main method of getting up and down. Only 1 of the 3 elevators worked, which was enough except at the busy times of the day.
The main buffet restaurant was clean, but the food selection was very limited, re-dos of the same food meal after meal, and many people came down with some kind of diarrhea and stomach upset. Very little service for coffee and the wine that was to be included with meals. Lots of staff, but not sure what they were all doing. The restaurant was never busy, so always lots of places to sit.
We did however really enjoy the Italian al-a-carte.
The pools were wonderful, lots of chairs and shade, lively areas, and quiet places too.
The swim-up bar was a joke... Lots of bars at LagunaMar, not busy, but don't expect fast service. The Lobby Bar was good, but also slow.
Beach was okay, relatively clean, lots of chairs and shade areas. Waves a bit rough, so have fun, but be careful. Swimming is not an option.
Went with Nolitours, Gaby, the rep is very helpful and knowledgeable about the island.
Overall, lots of heat and sun which is why we went, but I don't think we will go back.
South Tower 3rd floor
Smooth going on the way in, no problem at the airport, and fairly fast through the front desk. Found our own room without problem.
See review.. some issues to be sure, but had a good nights sleep every night.
Restaurants and Bars:
Need some help here. Buffet was sketchy.. same or similar food each day, despite theme nights and my husband was sick for 1 day and "off his feed" for the rest of the holiday and a couple of days at home. Slow service at meals despite lots of staff, and slow service at bars, though very friendly and not so busy that it really mattered anyway. Besides we had a whole week. I guess just watch what you eat.. as long as food isn't your main concern, you should have a warm and sunny holiday.
Awesome pools.. too bad the wave pool is closed (I suspect permanently, even though the website says "for repairs" .. which don't seem to happen here) The pools were cleaned thoroughly each night and really made our holiday.
Beach was great, the water was rough enough that swimming wasn't possible, but playing in the waves was great for big people, a little rough for those of us not so sure on our feet, and kids might get knocked around pretty good.
Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
Not a fan of on-site activities, but visit the water-slide pool for sure. The activity pool was active all day long. I am sure that if this was your thing, then you would be thrilled, also activities at the beach, volleyball for sure.
Nolitours was our vacation supplier and the rep, Gaby was very sincere and knowledgable. Went to Coche Island (by myself as hubby was sick) and wasn't thrilled, though is was an awesome beach for swimming and lots of water activities if you wanted to seek them and pay for them, also a free therapeutic mud bath (yuck) if you wished to participate. Gotta mention that we were refunded (at the last minute) hubby's payment since he was too sick to go, Gaby was really awesome. Hubby booked a fishing tour through Reel-Man fishing and it was a disappointment. Jeep tour was supposed to be great, though we didn't book, others said it was great. Took taxis to shopping.. very safe but watch your money exchange. Had a bit of a bad experience with this, but we had been warned.. heed the warnings, nobody's fault but our own.
Interesting country, cleaner than last time we visited, but seems to be on a bit of a downward spiral, reminescent of Cuba? Except that Venuezula has lots of oil income and doesn't need tourism dollars to drive it's economy. (A story for another post) Not sorry we went but not what we were hoping for. We hoped for a 3-star holiday and got a 2-star.
(lagunamar ranked as 4-star?)